A Data Visualization Newsletter

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70 Hurricane2

The 2018 hurricane season is officially here after Florence made landfall in the Carolinas last Friday. Though NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecast a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, longer term trends suggest more damaging storms on the horizon. In this piece, The Guardian digs through 100 years’ worth of data to show that hurricanes are getting stronger and lasting longer around the globe.

70 Nat Geo

Tracking the movements of immigrants across the world has long been a vexing problem for academics. In the age of social media, however, things have changed. Earlier this year, a team of Spanish researchers developed a new method to track immigration patterns using Twitter data, instead of traditional census surveys. Their approach also provides insight into which immigrant communities are most tightly integrated into their new home cities.

70 Wiki

How do we track the people dominating public conversation at any given time? Here’s one proxy: tally the number of views that a celebrity’s Wikipedia page gets over a given period of time. The Pudding’s latest project does just that, showing the 10 most-viewed people on Wikipedia each day since the start of 2018. With their live tracker, you can see musicians, athletes, politicians, and other household names shoot to the top as news about them breaks.

70 Drug Prices

In theory, the use of generic drugs in a program like Medicare should save the U.S. government a lot of money. But because of a practice known as “spread pricing”, that doesn’t always happen in practice. Middlemen like CVS and OptumRx are able to intervene, charging state governments an exorbitant rate and only passing a fraction of it on to pharmacies. This analysis from Bloomberg assesses the scope of the problem.

70 Satellite

We round out this week with a beautiful map courtesy of Jacob Wasilkowski, a geospatial developer at Esri. The map employs a creative technique for visualizing nighttime light pollution; light is plotted around the globe as “terrain”, such that more lit areas are more mountainous. This one definitely sucks you in.